Every morning before school for as far back as I can remember my mom would quietly enter my bedroom in the morning and bring me a cup of hot tea. She would gently place it on my nightstand, then sit on the edge of my bed. In a soothing voice she would whisper "Gary, it's time to get up. Drink your tea before it gets cold." While she said this she would sweetly touch my hair and I would look up at her through blurry eyes. I'd mutter something to acknowledge that I heard her and then she would leave to go and wake up my two brothers.
Because I didn't want my tea to get cold and out of respect for the fact that she went through the trouble to bring me hot tea in the first place I would force myself through a sleepy haze to sit up in bed. With my feet planted firmly on the floor I'd reach for the tea, cupping it in both hands, then take a sip. Most of the time I would sit there for a while staring off into nothing, devoid of any thought other than perhaps catching a few more winks.
But the tea felt warm in my hands and I didn't want to spill any of it. So slowly, oh so very slowly I entered the land of lucid thought and left behind my comfortable bed filled with a vivid array of dreams and magical adventures. In a few minutes mom would come back to check on me, ever kind, never rushed or frazzled (I am sure she was but never seemed to be) and she'd take a moment to chat with me before heading off again to check on the rest of the family. She'd ask if the tea was okay - it always was, sugar, no milk - and I'd begin to stir and get ready for school.
It's an art raising children. You find ways of getting what you want and doing the things that need to get done in ways that never let on your true plan. My mom had three boys to get ready for school and a baby daughter but she never showed us that it was too much. Mom found a way to wake us up without shouting and threats. It's so simple, bring a mug of hot tea and tell your child to wake up before it gets cold. Genius.
Thanks mom for your gentle touch, your amazing love and the belief you have in all of us. Not a day goes by that I am not grateful that you are my mom and my friend.